Louisiana senators co-sponsor ‘Back the Blue Act’
(KALB) - Senator John Kennedy and Senator Bill Cassidy co-sponsored a bill with more than 20 other Senate Republicans that would increase penalties for people who target law enforcement officers, and it also provides new tools for officers to protect themselves.
It’s called the “Back the Blue Act” and if it becomes law, it would strengthen laws to protect police officers by creating new federal crimes for killing, attempting to kill or conspiring to kill a federal judge, federal law enforcement officers, or federally funded public safety officers.
There would also be new penalties for interstate flight from justice as it pertains to avoiding prosecution for killing, attempting to kill or conspiring to kill the same group. The offender would be subject to the death penalty and a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years if death results. Otherwise, the offender would face a minimum sentence of 10 years.
There would also be new penalties for assaulting a federally funded law enforcement officer, with escalating penalties based on the extent of the injury and if a dangerous weapon is used.
“Louisiana’s law enforcement heroes risk their lives for our communities every day, and vicious criminals too often target these officers because of their service,” Kennedy said. “Supporting law enforcement means punishing the violent people who mean them harm and defending the freedoms that help these officers keep themselves and others safe.”
“Our law enforcement risk their lives to keep our communities safe,” Cassidy said. “They deserve our support. The Back the Blue Act protects those keeping us safe by deterring criminals who target police.”
Back the Blue Act Background Info:
Strengthens Laws to Protect Police Officers
- Creates a new federal crime for killing, attempting to kill, or conspiring to kill a federal judge, federal law enforcement officer, or federally funded public safety officer. The offender would be subject to the death penalty and a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years if death results; the offender would otherwise face a minimum sentence of 10 years.
- Creates a new federal crime for assaulting a federally funded law enforcement officer with escalating penalties, including mandatory minimums, based on the extent of any injury and the use of a dangerous weapon. However, no prosecution can be commenced absent certification by the Attorney General that prosecution is appropriate.
- Creates a new federal crime for interstate flight from justice to avoid prosecution for killing, attempting to kill, or conspiring to kill a federal judge, federal law enforcement officer, or federally funded public safety officer. The offender would be subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years for this offense.
Creates a Specific Aggravating Factor for Federal Death Penalty Prosecutions
- Clarifies that the murder or attempted murder of a law enforcement officer or first responder is a statutory aggravating factor for purposes of the federal death penalty.
Limits Federal Habeas Relief for Murders of Law Enforcement Officers
- Imposes time limits and substantive limits on federal courts’ review of challenges to state-court convictions for crimes involving the murder of a public safety officer, when the public safety officer was engaged in the performance of official duties or on account of the performance of official duties. These changes are consistent with the fast-track procedures created in 1996, which are applied to federal death penalty cases.
Expands Self-Defense and Second Amendment Rights for Law Enforcement Officers
- Allows law enforcement officers, subject to limited regulation, to carry firearms into federal facilities and other jurisdictions where such possession is otherwise prohibited.
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